The Guardian Series has asked each parliamentary candidate to list five reasons why they should become an MP at the General Election on May 7.

Independent candidate Ellie Merton explains why she thinks she is the best person for the job in Walthamstow.

1. I am a woman. There are not enough women candidates standing for any election. Any electorate should have a choice between many women, not just a choice between a plethora of men and maybe one woman if you’re lucky. Women still face considerable discrimination. Gender inequality is still a major problem in society. Simply by standing I am doing a tiny bit for women’s rights.

2. My beliefs: I believe public services should be renationalised and profiting from the public purse removed from the system. PFI must end. HSCA should be repealed and TTIP blocked. We need a renationalised social welfare system, more publicly funded day nurseries, renationalised schools, student loans and fees ended. Benefits cuts need reversing and social housing needs unblocking and renationalising. The country will always borrow to pay for services as well as using our taxes. It is just a matter of where the money raised will go.

3. Health: I believe in a renationalised NHS. I will campaign hard to rescue Whipps Cross from Barts Health Trust which is not only draining it dry of finance and staffing, but is now reportedly intending to sell off Whipps Cross site land. Reportedly, the funds raised will most likely go to Barts, not to Whipps patient care. Barts has already closed down the London Chest Hospital that saved Muamba, and is selling off its site to property developers. Centralised super-trusts functioning with high levels of PFI, like Barts, cost so much to run they are sapping the resources out of local healthcare, depleting services and leaving local patients to fend for themselves.

4. Harmony: I am passionate about music and the arts contribution to social cohesion and wellbeing. I will work for more music and arts education in schools and colleges along with more sports provision. We must give our children the best possible start in life. Arts and sports improve cognitive development and social skills vital for living fulfilling lives in the future. Walthamstow has a strong arts and culture bias, a pool of talent that could help advantage not only our young people but also our local economy, increasing visitor traffic to arts events and creating new enterprise. 5. Human Rights: Palestine is an issue of compassion and fairness that matters to local residents. It is as keenly and widely felt as the South African Anti-Apartheid campaign. My values reflect the wishes of the majority of local residents: wanting the Palestinians to achieve their basic human rights and self determination. The UK Government, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, plays a significant part in whether Palestine can form a future and seek restitution for the ethnic cleansing of its people. I will work to ensure our Government represents our wishes.

My website is plus I’m on twitter @vote4ellieE17